In between sessions of presentations, videos and workshops, rookie offensive lineman Max Garcia, nose tackle Darius Kilgo and cornerback Lorenzo Doss reflected on their experiences so far at the 18th Annual NFL Rookie Symposium.
The symposium is an orientation for all drafted rookies based on the four core values of the league – Responsibility to Team, Respect, Integrity and Resilience. The symposium addresses player health and safety, decision making, mental health, substance abuse, finance, building a winning culture and bystander intervention.
The highlight of the event for all three of the rookies has been the guest speakers in attendance. Presenters include former NFL players Phillip Buchanon, Cris Carter, Warrick Dunn, Eddie George, Donte Stallworth, Sammie Stroughter and Ross Tucker.
"My favorite aspect is hearing the former players and [listening to] them talk about their experiences," said Garcia. "Because as a rookie we know we have all this knowledge; all this knowledge is just being given to us, but we can only do so much from knowledge. But when you hear someone giving their experiences and they show you how things actually go down in the NFL, behind the scene, in the locker room… I think that's really what's most important to know and to have people tell you and talk to you about."
In addition to the former players, the rookies also get to hear from current NFL players from a variety of different teams. Panel discussion topics include "Expectations of an NFL Player," "Transitioning to the NFL," "Reaching Out," "Defining Success," and "Staying in the Game."
"They had some second year guys come up on stage last night," said Kilgo. "Those guys were pretty much telling us how it is going into the first season."
Also in attendance is New York Giants general manger Jerry Reese and Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, who spoke to the rookies Sunday night about the expectations of football players at the professional level. The GMs were able to provide different insight from the former and current players, something that Garcia appreciated.
"I really enjoyed his talk last night," said Garcia of McKenzie. "He was our first speaker and he talked about the expectations. He was a 10th-round pick back in the day… He talked about how the game is changing and how we need to control what we can control and… don't be the guy that makes stupid decisions, or tries to hang out with the [veterans] and do what they do because you're not at their level yet."
One section that all three Broncos said they learned the most in was about finance. The symposium promotes financial education as well as how to use NFL Player Engagement's resources during and after their professional careers.
"That's one thing I learned a lot about," said Doss. "Steven Jackson, he had great information. He told us about how to handle everything and how to get the right people in your corner with financial advisors and different banks."
The four-day event will also feature a PLAY 60 youth football clinic with participation from all rookies on June 23 at the Cleveland Browns training complex. To cap the symposium, Pro Football Hall of Famers Curtis Marin and Anthony Muñoz will conduct history sessions for the rookies at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
And stay tuned for more news out of Canton as Broncos TV will be following along with the rookies for the next couple days in Ohio.
With the 164th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Broncos selected Tulane CB Lorenzo Doss. (All photos via AP Images)